THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Brady keeps his focus

QB's only concern remains San Diego

Email|Print| Text size + By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / January 17, 2008

FOXBOROUGH - He's all about handling his business.

Of that, Patriots fans can rest assured about their quarterback, Tom Brady.

When asked during a national teleconference yesterday if he was troubled by allegations of battery by a Florida woman against Randy Moss - which the receiver vigorously denied - Brady replied, "That's the furthest thing from my mind. I could really care less about that right now."

At first blush, Brady's response could have been construed as uncaring.

In truth, Brady was merely doing what he has done all season - focusing on the task at hand, in this case Sunday's AFC Championship game against the San Diego Chargers, the Patriots' penultimate step in their quest for perfection.

For 17 consecutive games, Brady has managed to maintain his approach.

"I think it's really worked," he said. "Coach [Bill] Belichick really stresses the importance of preparation each week and not to look [ahead]. You can't win a game two weeks from now. You can really only prepare for the team that you play.

"We had so many tight games this year [against the Eagles, Ravens, and Giants during the 16-0 regular season]. I really think the preparation we've put in has been so critical to what we've accomplished."

This week will be no different from the last, or the first week of the season.

"It's extremely challenging this week, when you play a team as dangerous as the Chargers are, who have talent at every position," Brady said. "They're one year removed from being 14-2, and it's really the same team back. This is the best team in the second half of the season, averaging 30 points a game and giving up 13 points a game, with 48 turnovers [in the regular season] and five turnovers in the postseason, and over 40 sacks this year. Guys like [Antonio] Gates and [Chris] Chambers and [LaDainian] Tomlinson and Philip Rivers are all Pro Bowlers. They can rush the passer, and [Antonio] Cromartie with all the interceptions [10].

"It's a really dynamic pass-rushing group with linebackers and defensive linemen. It's going to be extremely tough for us."

But, Brady hopes, the Patriots' prolific passing attack will be able to counter the opposition.

Asked if he had started lobbying for Moss, who signed for one year, to return, Brady said, "I just try to concern myself with my performance. I know he's - obviously, I have a lot of confidence in what he's been able to accomplish. He's the best receiver in the league. That speaks for itself. It makes it easy as a quarterback when you just throw the ball up in the air and he goes up and catches it.

"I know he's excited about this week, and I think as a team - whether it's Randy or Wes [Welker] or [Mike] Vrabel, or all these other guys - we just have to be ready to play our best."

Perfection demands it.

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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